Skills are developed in the Energy Academy mentorship program


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In the April meeting, participants learned more about sustainability and continued previous discussions

Energy Academy is a network of 16 companies and organizations that run a mentorship program for local university students. The latest round, which started  in autumn 2023, offers approximately 20 students a unique opportunity for personal development and professional networking over seven months.

Each student participating in the mentorship program has been paired with a carefully selected mentor. When forming mentorship pairs, the wishes and goals of both parties, as well as their interests and academic focus are taken into account.

In addition to one-to-one mentorship meetings, the activities of the Energy Academy also include networking events. The topic of the networking event that took place at the Danfoss Vaasa site in April was sustainability.

Sustainability work begins with analyzing the current situation

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Rabea Feistauer, Continuous Improvement Manager at Danfoss, presented a path from setting goals to action and implementation:

“First, current state and activities must be analyzed both internally and externally, from customer requirements to internal capabilities. From this one can set targets, which will be translated into yearly roadmaps, then quarterly milestones, to finally very concrete actions to be implemented. For example, at Danfoss, we looked into many aspects: our energy use and its sources, the materials we use in our products, how we package and transport them, and how we record and report data about all these. Now we have specific actions to decarbonise, along with the ongoing push to make our products more energy efficient and in line with the principles of the circular economy.”

“It is important to rethink the way we operate and utilize our resources to achieve more by using less.”

Communicating goals and achievements is crucial

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Anna Jeanne Söderlund, Head of Content at Advertising Agency Morgan Digital, emphasized the importance of corporate social responsibility communication and stressed that even the best CSR communication cannot solve problems if the actions themselves are not truly sustainable.

“Pitfalls in CRS communication may include overly dull communication, repeating obvious things without a deeper purpose. There may also be too much focus on technical details or oversimplification”, Söderlund listed.

“It is important to find the aspects of your own company that stand out among all the other companies that are also responsible and engage in sustainable business practices. It is also worth considering how to visually distinguish oneself from others, for example, with image selections and visualizations.”

Söderlund also emphasized the importance of timing and reminded that with CRS communication, one should not wait until everything is ready but rather communicate ongoing work, acknowledge areas where the company still has work to do, and clearly communicate set goals and achievements.

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After the presentations, the meeting room at Danfoss was filled with lively chatter: mentors and mentees engaged in discussions on the day's theme or continued conversations from previous meetings. It was clear that the mentorship program's interim goal was achieved during the afternoon. Participants learned new things and met new people: current experts and future talents within the energy cluster.

  • Learn more about the Energy Academy’s activities  on the EnergyVaasa website

  • The next application period for the mentorship program is in autumn  2024.

  • Energy Academy partners: University of Vaasa, Vaasan ammattikorkeakoulu VAMK University of Applied Sciences, Novia University of Applied Sciences, Hanken School of Economics, University of Helsinki, Åbo Akademi University, ABB, Danfoss Drives, Etha Oy, Hitachi Energy, Technology Centre Merinova Oy, City of Vaasa, Vaasan Sähkö Oy, Vaasa Region Development Company VASEK, Wärtsilä.

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